Addressing the first meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir, Imran Hussain, the newly elected Vice-Chair of the Group called for Parliament to hold an immediate inquiry into human rights abuses in Kashmir.
Drawing the Group’s attention to the Indian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act which has been used by the military to abuse civilians in Kashmir, Mr Hussain pointed out that the Act had been declared in violation of human rights treaties by several United Nations bodies, and urged the UK Government to work with the Indian Government to repeal it.
Introduced in 1958, the Special Powers Act grants special powers to the armed forces to act in what it describes as ‘disturbed areas,’ allowing them to fire upon or otherwise use force, even to the causing of death, against any person who they deem to be acting against the law, which has led to its international condemnation.
Speaking on the APPG meeting, Bradford East’s Member of Parliament, Imran Hussain said:
“The Indian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act has been used as a tool by the military to oppress the population of Kashmir and its designation as an Act that defies human rights treaties by United Nations bodies shows that the Indian Government need to immediately repeal it.
“Human rights abuses have gone on for far too long without any accountability, and it is time that Parliament needs to hold an immediate inquiry into Kashmir and the Special Powers Act, which I will be pushing for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir to do.”